Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment vs. Johnny Lightning Dukes of Hazzard

One of my most popular posts on this blog compares Mattel's Hot Wheels entertainment cars to Dukes diecasts by Johnny Lightning.  Even with my obvious bias, I gave the JL Dukes cars more merit because of their detail.  Looking back, it was an unfair race because those Hot Wheels weren't of the same caliber as Johnny Lightning's series.  Hot Wheels has a new line called Retro Entertainment and these are the cars I've been looking for.

Each car in the line has its own license specific package design.  

I wish the back of the card had some information about the show or movie, or had some specifics about the car.  

These cars are heavier than the standard versions and feature more detail and rubber tires.  They match up nicely with the JLs.

I own the standard versions of each of these cars, besides KARR (which I don't think had a standard version).  The Retro Entertainment version is on the right and the standard is on the left.  KITT has the correct bowling ball style wheels and the dash is the correct color now.

Correct wheels seem to be one of the biggest features of the new line.  B.A.'s van also has a lighter black, almost gray, color above the red stripe.  The headlights above the windshield also have more detail.

The '66 Batmobile has a lot more red paint to add detail.

The accessories on the top of Ecto-1 are individually painted on the new version.  The wheels are also white walls.  Each car just looks more finished.

Each car in the Retro Entertainment line uses the same mold as the previous version.  More detailed paint and rubber wheels give it the added detail.  The reason they are heavier is because the base is now made of metal where the originals were made of plastic.  They feel like a more substantial diecast.

Previously, I compared the Hot Wheels to Johnny Lightning's higher end Dukes line and not the standard releases put out by Ertl/RC and sometimes JL.  With the Dukes cars, the standard is on the left and the JL line is on the right.  The General Lee is a world of difference when comparing the two.  The left has generic wheels and simplistic detail.  The JL has rubber tires on pretty close wheels (depending on which series of the line it's from).  The JL also has a separate push bar (as opposed to being built in the grill) and more accurate decals.  The Retro Entertainment cars are more comparable to the Johnny Lightning line.

The standard version of Daisy's Road Runner looks ridiculous. The JL is much better.

There are several standard versions of Daisy's Jeep.  Most are the wrong year.  In the JL line, they got it right.

Throughout the JL line, they used a wrong model for Rosco's Patrol Car.  The standard version uses a Pontiac Bonneville.  After JL completed the line, they released this correct '78 Dodge Monaco.  It is the best representation of Rosco's car available.

The Double Zero was also greatly improved upon by the JL line.  

The Retro Entertainment and the Johnny Lightning cars are on the inside of this line-up.  The new Hot Wheels retail for $5 and compare nicely to the JLs.

The best 1/64 General Lee finally has a worthy rival.  There are other cars in the new Hot Wheels line including Smokey and the Bandit's Trans Am and the Muppet bus.  And there are many others planned including the Delorean that I look forward too.  I'm sure I'll pick up a few more.  I found KARR and the A-Team van at an out of the way Wal-Mart, but haven't seen any at the bigger, closer stores.  I had to go online to get KITT, Ecto-1, and the Batmobile.  I have heard fellow collectors commenting that they wish Hot Wheels would make Dukes, but like I said before, I am very happy they don't.  It would be cool to see what kind of SDCC exclusive they would come up with, but the fact that 1/18 versions of their entertainment cars retail for so much (over $150) is crazy.  I am very happy with JL and Auto World making my Dukes diecasts.  With them in charge, I can afford to buy at least two of everything that comes out.

Speaking of SDCC exclusives, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't compare the new Knight Rider cars to the awesome, talking, light up versions I got last summer in San Diego?  The new KITT is very similar to the KITT under plastic.  The wheels, tires, and detail are basically the same.  Seems they had a plan when they did the exclusives.  The Retro Entertainment one just doesn't have a talking base.  

Not many people got their hands on the SDCC KARR.  Here is mine with the new KARR.  He looked just like KITT in his first appearance, and the second time he showed up he had the gray look. Now I have both versions of KITT's evil twin.

And rounding out this huge 1/64 super-post...at the recent New York Toy Fair, our friends at Auto World announced a new line of 1/64 diecasts.  The prototypes look great.  They have no plans to make any entertainment lines yet, but they make the best 1/18 General Lee available, so I sure hope they tackle a whole new Dukes line.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I saw a DeLorean yesterday!

Never saw one in the real world before.  Looks like it's been sitting in this driveway for a long time.  That is all.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Standards of the Silver Era

I noticed what I have been doing with this blog is mainly talking about "new to me" things, just the items I bought recently.  Since I have been collecting so long, there are a bunch of things that haven't been "new to me" since they were new.  We've established the different eras of collecting Dukes of Hazzard.  I find things all the time from the Golden Era that I never knew existed.  Since my collecting was in high gear when we reached the Silver Era, I have a handle on pretty much every thing that was released during those years.  I would like to do a series of posts on the standards of the Silver Era, the mainstays or staples if you will.  These are items that I think a lot of collectors have in their assemblage.

Like I said before, one of the first items to come out since the 80s was a re-release of the 1/25 Ertl diecast.  The box design was very simple.  It was plain orange.  It didn't feature the Duke cousins and had no fancy logos.

The back featured one of the most often used pictures from the series, the first jump of the General Lee, and a shot from the reunion movie with the General beating Double Zero.  It must have come out right after the movie.

The car is the same as it was in 1981.  The wheels are all chrome colored, as opposed to having black inserts between the spokes, and the interior is black.

There is no license plate.  The car is very basic, but it worked so well in the 80s, Ertl released it the same way.  Within a few years there were box redesigns and updates such as the correct interior color and CNH-320 showing up.  I think it is safe to say every collector has this release of the 1/25.  It isn't rare and is a great car.

David Hofstede's "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Unofficial Companion" is the best source of all things original Hazzard.  Released in 1998, it chronicles the story of the Dukes from the beginning.  From the film inspiration Moonrunners, to the casting of the stars, Tom and John's strike, to the end of production---all is covered in the book.

The book has a foreword by Catherine Bach and also features a guide to every episode.

It is an excellent book.  Anyone who wants to know about the Dukes should pick it up.  But don't consider all the information completely true.  Some information is misleading and found to be mistaken.  The chapter about the merchandise is fun, but not entirely accurate.  The author didn't try to mislead us about any of his information,  more truth just came to light after the book was competed.

If you considered yourself a serious collector in the early 2000s, you had this set in your collection.  Released by Corgi in 2001, it is a 1/36 scale General Lee with hand painted white metal figures.  It was only available in Europe.

The inclusion of the word "livery" to describe the distinctive look of the General makes it very British.  It also spelled Uncle Jesse's name wrong.

For being a one time release, they made a good representation of the General.  Rush will notice that his beloved chrome strips are present.  The 01s look better than several Ertl releases and the General Lee text is accurate.  The interior is detailed and has a good looking roll bar.

The license plate, or number plate as it is called on the box, does not feature the correct CNH-320, but rather GNRL LEE.  That is a popular plate on replicas of our favorite car.  I bet there are nearly fifty Generals with that plate in the USA.  Seems Corgi might have used a replica as reference and replicated the plate as well.

The Bo and Luke figures are great.  Corgi did a good job on these.  They even got close to replicating Luke's bear claw belt buckle.  This is the only release of the General in this scale, and the only tiny statues of the Duke cousins.  It really is a must have for any Dukes Collector.

The final pieces that I would like to highlight in this post are the Exclusive Premiere Dukes of Hazzard Fully Poseable Action Figures.  Released in 1997, these were exclusive to Toys 'R Us.

I have never seen the packages of these figures in perfect shape.  I remember finding them on the shelf and the boxes were a little beat up.

Exclusive Premiere must have been afraid to show the flag.  They photoshopped it out beneath Daisy in the picture used inside the back of the box.  Unfortunately, the package attributes Good 'Ol Boys to Merle Haggard.  How could they make such an atrocious oversight?

When people try to sell these on ebay, they sometimes claim they have the first of a numbered series.  Everyone one of them is labeled " 1 of 12000."  I guess it saved ink to do it that way.

My Luke is also labeled Bo.  I have seen quite a few others with mistakes like this, so it doesn't really make mine rare.

The construction of the figures is similar to the twelve inch G.I. Joes.  The likenesses is somewhat hit or miss.

Daisy is the worst of the three.  The hair is flowing.  She looks like a generic doll.  Sorta like Daisy, but mostly not.  Daisy came with a checkered flag and a waitress tray that had a bowl of pretzels and a frothing beer on it.  She was a waitress, but that is still an odd accessory.

Bo and Luke have extra jackets over there signature shirts.  Luke's is a denim vest.  The likeness is nearly there.  Luke came with the checkered flag and a bow and arrow.  The arrow even has dynamite on it.  Good job on this accessory.

Bo seemed much happier than Luke.  Much like last year at Hazzard Homecoming. At least they got the hair right.  Bo has a heavier brown jacket on.  He comes with the same flag and archery set as Luke.  All three figures come with display stands as well.  

Exclusive Premiere made figures like these for 007, Babylon 5, Three Stooges. Blues Brothers, The Lone Ranger, and many more.  It is cool they included Dukes in the line.  

I think they also made up their own logo for the Dukes.  

In the future, I will posts other articles about the Silver Era Standards.  Stay Tuned.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Dukes Stuff - 2/12/2013 - Rush's stuff and Dukes birthday card

Another great trip to Greensburg, PA and another slew of new Dukes items.  A couple of the items came from Pop Culture Connection, but most came from close friend of the blog Rush Pedder.

Rush spotted this new (modern era) Hallmark Dukes of Hazzard birthday card at a local grocery store.  It is much bigger than a standard greeting card and has a "pop-out" function.  The General on the front is embossed.  It has Hallmark's logo as well as (s11) which might mean 2011 because there is no date on it.  When Rush told me about this card, I thought I would be able to find my own.  I pictured myself giving it to everyone I knew on their birthday.  Then I went to buy it and did not have any luck.  I went to the same grocery store chain and every Hallmark mall store and Gold Crown store I could find.  I called Hallmark and the grocery store distributor and no one knew a thing about it.  You would think the fact that I had the UPC number would help me.  But according to Hallmark, this thing does not exist.  Rush went back and apparently picked up the  world's only copy of the card and now it's a part of the collection.  I'm sure there are more out there, but I can't find them.  So glad I have this one.  Here is my first thank you to Rush.

Rush also hooked me up with a bunch of his Dukes items that he wanted to add to the collection.  First off we have a few random trading cards, and pack-in cards from the 1/144 series.  Also a Micro Machine that looks similar to a orange Charger, and a small rebel flag and key chain.

Next is a record single of the theme song.  Love that old RCA logo with the dog.

This is one of the four TV Guides.  It's in pretty good shape.  I can't find the city information on it.  Wonder if they had non specific issues as well as regional ones.

I have this Dynamite magazine, but it's always good to have extras.

Rush said he built this model a long time ago.  It needs a little TLC, but it's found the right place for that.

He also offered this Ecto-1 model to me.  Sure I took it.  He did a good job on the build.

I don't love "The Beginning" movie.  But it was free.

This is a nice hat from Cooter's.

I find it odd that it says Cooter's Garage and not Place.  Maybe it's rarer.  But can a modern era item be rare?

Rush also gave me a shirt from Cooter's Place.  Or Garage.

This item is really interesting.  It is the May, 2005 issue of Pittsburgh Rock Press.  It features John and Tom on the cover.  I live near Pittsburgh, but I missed this when it was released in the biggest year the Dukes had since the 80s.

It has an interview with Tom first.  He discusses his Broadway, Jazz, and acting careers.  It's a nice article.

I really like the photos used for the background of John's interview.  I have seen both of these photos several times before, but never juxtaposed against each other like this.  Good job Pittsburgh Rock Press.

Finally Rush gave me the final of his awesome blue binders.  These bad boys are a wealth of information.  This one has so much information on different Dukes fan clubs and is meticulously collected.  Rush has label tabs and everything.  It is interesting to find out the history of Dukes events and fans before the internet.  I kind of kept my love of the Dukes to myself back then, at least to the outside world.  I just didn't know there were others like me out there.  And I was in junior high.  I found the internet pretty early.

There are newsletters from Tom's and John's respective fan clubs as well.  Just so much information.  I feel like I should have an "Archive Section" when I do get all this stuff displayed:  The Rush Pedder Dukes of Hazzard Research Library.

Jeremy from Pop Culture Connection also gave me a few great items.  He discovered several of the really thick coloring books on one of his recent expeditions.  If you are in need of one, contact his store.

He also gave me one of these tiny TV shaped Dukes pins.  I wonder how these were sold when new.  Just on a shelf near the check out counter?  Some questions may never be answered.

It was a great day,  I got all this great stuff, and I didn't pay a penny for it.  I love having this blog.  I can't thank Rush enough.  He is a true Dukes fan, and I really enjoy talking to him about the hobby.  And it's always fun visiting Pop Culture Connection.  Thanks again guys.